TULSA, OK (Oct. 12, 2023) – Flat tires. Mechanical failure. Late-race passes. Ryan Timms has been through it all this year with the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota.
But those struggles are all behind him now. He’ll simply be known as a Feature winner.
Timms, the 17-year-old rising open-wheel star from Oklahoma City, OK, had led a total of 72 Feature laps and finished runner-up twice coming into Thursday’s events at Port City Raceway, but still hungered for that elusive first career Series win.
For 55 laps around the 1/8-mile oval, Timms plowed his way through heavy lapped traffic, denied slide-jobs and even made some contact with his opponents, but was able to pull through and take the checkered flag in the fourth running of the Donnie Ray Crawford Sooner State 55, co-sanctioned by the POWRi National/West Midget Leagues.
“It’s a race of mine that I really wanted to win growing up here,” Timms said.
At the drop of the green, Timms grabbed the lead from polesitter Trey Marcham on Lap 2 and proceeded to build a five-second advantage in traffic before the race’s second caution period on Lap 34. On the ensuing restart, fifth-starting Daison Pursley entered the frame with a slide-job on Marcham to take second, and soon came after Timms with urgency.
In less than 10 laps, Pursley – of Locust Grove, OK – had reeled-in Timms, and was about to catch a slide-job attempt for the lead before they crossed the stripe to complete Lap 49.
“My line started to go away, and Daison found the bottom in Turns 1-2,” Timms said. “I think he was following the top all the way around in 3-4, and I was sliding myself up to it. Whatever he was doing, he was faster.”
Timms crossed back underneath Pursley to deny his pass attempt and continued on. But Pursley was not done.
Coming back to green with four laps remaining, Pursley followed Timms on the bottom through Turns 1-2 and saw an opening entering Turn 3. He slid the AME Electrical #19A underneath Timms’ JBL Audio #67 with speed in Turn 3 and the two made contact in Turn 4, sending them both washing-up the track on corner exit.
“[Timms] was letting it float up pretty high down the back-straightaway in the slick, and I thought I had a good enough run to get him completely cleared,” Pursley said. “I thought I was definitely clear, and I guess [that was] what he was not happy about. We just went down in there and made contact.
“It’s just part of it. I’m not here to run second.”
It didn’t take long for Timms to return the contact. He crossed the start/finish line and drove back into Turn 1 with a full head of steam, tagging Pursley on the bumper and sending him around to bring out the yellow flag once again.
After the checkered, Timms revealed that his frustrations with Pursley stemmed from prior run-ins earlier in the season.
“[Pursley] tried to slide me in Turns 3-4 and completely doored me,” Timms said. “Typically, I kinda understand. It’s close racing. One time, whatever. I’ll get over it. But he drove through me at Gas City, drove through me at Eldora, and we’d never had any issues up until those two races.
“After he drove through me again, I was fed up with it. If you don’t do something about it, then he’s going to keep doing it.”
Pursley restarted from the tail of the lead lap cars and was able to climb back to finish sixth, despite his own frustrations with Timms.
“I guess he wasn’t too happy about my move in 3-4,” Pursley said. “If that’s how he’s wanting to retaliate in 1-2, I’ll take it with my chin up and move on to I-44.”
The final restart of the race was smooth sailing for Timms as he led the final three circuits and crossed the line to collect the $5,555 grand prize.
Directly behind him came defending Series champion Zach Daum, who advanced from 13th on the starting grid to finish second. The 32-year-old veteran from Pocahontas, IL, showed his prowess on the tiny bullring, backing up his Sooner State 55 victory from last year by sticking to his preferred line on the bottom throughout the 55-lap main event.
“Experience in racing here, especially in long races, typically the top gets so far around that it’s really hard to run,” Daum said. “Normally, the bottom is so good here that it comes back.”
With the runner-up effort, Daum collected his 13th podium finish of the season and chopped his points deficit nearly in half – gaining 29 points in the standings, vaulting him into third place where he now sits only 38 points out of the lead with two races remaining.
“We’ll try to keep giving ourselves a shot – that’s all I can ask for,” Daum said. “We beat everybody that we’re trying to race for in points.”
Fourteen-year-old Midget rookie Gunnar Setser, of Columbus, IN, crossed the stripe in third to collect his first career national Midget series podium. POWRi regular Karter Sarff advanced from his 14th-place starting spot to finish fourth, while Tanner Thorson Racing entrant Ace McCarthy rounded out the top five.
The Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series meets POWRi again Friday, Oct. 13, at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City, OK, in the kickoff to the 19th annual Charlene Meents Memorial. Tickets will be on sale at the gate; streaming is available on DIRTVision.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Toyota Racing Feature (55 Laps): 1. 67-Ryan Timms; 2. 7U-Zach Daum; 3. 43-Gunnar Setser; 4. 21K-Karter Sarff; 5. 28-Ace McCarthy; 6. 19A-Daison Pursley; 7. 40-Chase McDermand; 8. 97-Gavin Miller; 9. 32-Trey Marcham; 10. 71-Jade Avedisian; 11. 08-Cannon McIntosh; 12. 25K-Taylor Reimer; 13. 26R-Corbin Rueschenberg; 14. 97K-Cooper Williams; 15. 5U-Peter Smith; 16. 19AZ-Hayden Reinbold; 17. 14-Jonathan Beason; 18. 7M-Kyle Jones; 19. 19M-Ethan Mitchell; 20. 19K-Riley Kreisel; 21. 19-Landen Adams; 22. 51B-Joe B Miller
The Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series is brought to fans by important sponsors and partners, including: DIRTVision (Official Live Broadcast Partner), Toyota (Title sponsor of the Midgets Series), Racing Electronics (Official Radio Supplier) and SIS Insurance (Official Insurance Provider). Other partners include: TJ Forged and Whitz Racing Products.